“And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.”
As I sit in our camper this morning drinking regular coffee because I forgot to restock the decaf (Lord help us, I will be crawling out of my skin and turning into an energetic tornado soon) and watching the parade, I started reflecting on a few Thanksgiving memories, like…
The year my stepdad cooked the turkey with the giblets inside. The house smelled so bad we needed hazmat suits and oxygen tanks. We threw every window open, abandoned the house and ate out that year. The best part, my Gran was there and cast judgement the entire time because a man who claimed to be a chef (that’s a story for another day) completely ruined the centerpiece of the whole day. A woman who could fry chicken with the best of them and who had cooked a lifetime of Thanksgiving meals would have NEVER made that mistake. Even as a little girl, I knew that.
I remember my Gran’s oyster dressing she made every Thanksgiving. I didn’t love it because I don’t love oysters, but I love the memory of watching her make it. I love the memory of watching her make all the food she use to make. And the fact that every time we came to visit she stocked the house so full of treats it was obscene. She was a master at spoiling. An absolute master.
The Thanksgiving(s) spent with dear friends because life got in the way of us making the drive to spend it with our own family. I will forever be grateful that family took us in like we were one of their very own, even though it meant they had to cook so much extra food. My brother and I can throw down some food. I think to this day they’ve still never seen someone who could eat as much as my brother at one sitting.
The year my mom made me a Pilgrim outfit for school…and every year after that when I wore it just because I thought I was a cool Pilgrim and it still fit. Somebody shoulda told me to stop it well before I ever outgrew it.
The first Thanksgiving without my mom. And all the Thanksgivings since. She made THE best sweet potato casserole in all the land. She learned how to spoil from her mama and she did it so well. This is my 11th Thanksgiving without her and I STILL miss the gorgeous table she would set. The ridiculous amounts of food she would make. Just her. I just miss her.
I love THIS holiday because the only expectation is good food, good company, and being STILL long enough to realize that regardless where we are in life, living our best days, or trudging through our worst, there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for.
Life is hard. It throws curveballs ALL THE TIME. It is not easy to live with a grateful heart, BUT it is the only way to live if you want to find any semblance of peace. Be thankful in ALL things. The good. The bad. The ugly. The days that you feel as if the only thing you can accomplish is taking your next breath, be thankful you have that next breath to take. And, be thankful that THOSE are the days that teach you to truly appreciate the good days.
I am thankful…
That I don’t have to make the turkey this year. Full transparency I have NEVER made a turkey EVER. But, I’m grateful Scott doesn’t have to make it.
That we made it safely to the farm in crazy holiday traffic.
That I get to help peel potatoes today while my Gram works in the kitchen like a beast at 88 years old.
That while we celebrate Thanksgiving on the farm today, we also get to celebrate 70 years of marriage between two of my most favorite, most special people in the whole wide world.
I pray we all have grateful hearts today, and all the rest of the days. I pray that we inhale love and exhale gratitude. We have SO much to be thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving!
As always, thanks for reading!